By Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
My grandfather, who is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), will be coming to live with me. Does he have to report the move to Social Security?
Yes. An SSI beneficiary must report any change in living arrangements before the 10th day of the following month. If you do not report the change, your grandfather could receive an incorrect payment and have to pay it back, or he may not receive all the money that he is due. Failure to report a change to us could result in the deduction of a penalty from his SSI benefits. Your grandfather also needs to report the new address to us to receive mail from us. You can report the change by mail or in person at any Social Security office or call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can get more information by reading Understanding SSI at www.ssa.gov/ssi.
What is the definition of disability for children filing for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Social Security has a strict definition of disability for children under the SSI program. A child who is under age 18 is considered disabled if he or she:
- Has a physical or mental condition (or a combination of conditions) resulting in “marked and severe functional limitations.” (“Marked and severe functional limitations” means that the condition very seriously limits the child’s activities)
- The condition has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or is expected to result in death.
To decide whether a child is disabled for SSI purposes, we look at medical and other information (such as information from schools, parents, and caregivers) about the child’s condition(s), and we consider how the condition affects his or her daily activities. We consider questions such as:
- What activities is the child not able to do or is limited in doing?
- What kind of and how much extra help does the child need to perform age-appropriate activities—for example, special classes at school, medical equipment?
- Do the effects of treatment interfere with the child’s day-to-day activities?
Read Benefits For Children With Disabilities, at www.ssa.gov/pubs, for additional information on how we decide if a child under age 18 is disabled.
I have medical coverage through my employer. Do I have to take Medicare Part B?
You are not required to take Medicare Part B if you are covered by a group healthcare plan based on either your employment or the employment of a spouse. When your coverage ends, you may contact Social Security to request a special enrollment for Medicare Part B. We will need to verify your coverage through your employer in order for you to be eligible for a special enrollment. For more information, visit www.medicare.gov.
How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?
If you are an adult, you must be unable to work for a year or more because of a medical condition or combination of medical impairments. Overall, we use a five-step evaluation process to decide whether you are disabled. The process considers any current work activity you are doing. It also considers your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. To be found disabled:
- You must be unable to do work you did before you became disabled and we must decide you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your disability must last, or be expected to last, for at least one year or to result in death.
Social Security pays only for total disability. We do not pay benefits for partial or short-term disability. For more information, read our publication Disability Benefits at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html.
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Vonda Van Til is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at email@example.com